The conflict between the Southern and Northern states did not start suddenly with the attack on Fort Sumter. From at least the beginning of the 19th century, the North and South were divided over the issues of slavery. This PDF explores the base issues that caused the American Civil War.
Credit Image: Missouri Historical Society
This PDF explores the purpose of the Northwest Ordinance, also known as the Freedom Ordinance. Enacted in 1787 by the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, the Northwest Ordinance was a way of accounting for those who wanted to settle in the Northwest Territory that would soon become Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Image Credit: Library of Congress, Rare Books and Special Collections Division
This Voices of the Civil War trailer highlights the topics and issues in episodes 1 through 21 as of October 2013.
In Voices of the Civil War, Episode 1, Part 1, The Original Sin, we look at the beginning of the American Civil War, the attack on Fort Sumter, and slavery as the true cause of the Civil War.
Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-DIG-ppmsca-21740]
In the years leading up to and including the Civil War, not all African-Americans were enslaved. This PDF explores the lives of Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Martin Delaney, and Benjamin Banneker.
In Voices of the Civil War, Episode 1, Part 2, The Constitution as the flawed foundation, we focus on the Founding Fathers, who while writing the U. S. Constitution consciously did not include slavery.
Image Credit: Architect of the Capitol
On May 14, 1787, fifty-five delegates from the newly formed United States gathered in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation, and ended up restructuring the government by drafting a new Constitution. In doing so, the architects of the Constitution neither acknowledged or abolished slavery. Little did they know that by sacrificing black slaves in their efforts to create “a more perfect union”, in 1787, the delegates sowed the seeds of the disunion in 1861.
In Voices of the Civil War, Episode 2, Banneker's Letter, we commend African Americans who fought back against prejudice and racism long before the Civil War, with a focus on Benjamin Banneker. In 1791, Banneker confronted, Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson about his conflicting views of slavery. He challenged Jefferson’s perception of African Americans by offering himself as a role model of intelligence, wit and strength.
Image Credit: Collection of the Banneker-Douglass Museum, http://www.bdmuseum.com/
In Voices of the Civil War, Episode 3, Contraband, we look at the flight of African Americans to northern lines to find freedom and fight with the Union Army. Three enslaved blacks, Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, and James Townsend, flee to Union lines where General Benjamin Butler coins the term, “Contraband of war,” and begins a new policy known as the Confiscation Act.
Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-DIG-stereo-1s02760]
In Voices of the Civil War, Episode 4, Resistance to Slavery, we look at the rise of slave resistance and the use of the Underground Railroad. Abolitionists like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass use the Underground Railroad to actively resist slavery by helping slaves find freedom in the North. Authors like Theodore Dwight Weld and Harriett Beecher Stowe fought slavery by publishing its horrors worldwide. At the beginning of the Civil War the use of the Underground Railroad declines as freedom seekers begin a much bigger fight.
Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-USZ62-28860]